Ketch-up

This is post is dedicated to Sandra who, one night could not sleep. In the middle of the night she decided to check out my blog. The next morning she scolded me for not having written anything about my time here in France.                           Alors, Sandra, c’est pour toi. XX

The time between my last post seems so long ago as much as happened and yet nothing of great importance at the same time. I left Italy after Arco, went to Paris for the World Championships, went to Germany for a brief taste of the Frankenjura, saw a bit of Cresiano, embraced the American culture found scattered around Germany and eventually returned to Font. So since it has been so long since my last post… I decided to write something as brief as brief can be about the time between Arco and Christmas… Getting the ball rolling on these things is a bit of a chore sometimes but once it is going my thoughts seem to work like a spider web. Many writing ideas evolve out of the random events of my life and I realized in the middle of the night after stirring from a dream where I was drowning, that indeed, I do have some things that I could talk about. All the better since no one can talk back. And so, on with the post…

sign

photo credit //  thomo

One sunny day, unlike any other fine sunny day (because really – each day is quite different from the next), I arrived in Fontainebleau after having driven a long 11 hours in terms of European standards. Originally I was on the way to Paris for the Climbing World Championships but there was a sign on the road which summoned a detour for me. An hour later, instead of climbing the coloured problems at some random Paris climbing gym, I was juggling my time between the orange, blue and red circuits in the forest of Fontainebleau.

bw rock

photo credit //  thomo

There isn’t much to say about the Paris comp. I didn’t realize they were such a big deal until after the fact. People train years for this event. Years! I won’t say out of embarrassment how much I trained but it did teach me a few things. Some highlights to keep it simple: Tonde, Kelly and the Canadians, adventures through the city and watching some of the best climbers in action. As for my climbing, I made some errors to learn from but I also felt pretty focused thanks to Tondes advice: ‘Be decisive and listen to the right voices.’ Something which could be remembered any time of day really. Watching Cecile and Jain Kim climb throughout the event was motivating. They both inspire me for various reasons but one common thread is because they are so short yet they can still do these big moves that even stumped the taller girls. But anyway…enough about that.

 

In a blink of an eye Paris bercy is over. After a sweet day in Font with Kelly and Ajo i am left alone to ponder my next move. The most logical stop would be to just stop. And so i did. My shoulder was achy and the advice of many rang through my head and this time, I decided to take it. So Cedar and I headed to England for some time off climbing. A whole two weeks. I was going to do it no matter what. I considered it a project and i was going to send.

The time off in England was easy. Visiting friends, touring London. London is full of museums of all sorts and sizes, some which take up city blocks and days to explore. But the best thing? They are all free! Freaking free! Proudly sponsored by the freaking British Lottery. We rode the old cities buses and trams and lost ourselves over and over again. By the time my bus pass had expired we finally absorbed all we could that was British. The queen, the stand still guards, the hords of tourist and marmite. The sun was shining and the pull to return to France was strong. With one week left of rest I questioned if it was wise to return with such nice weather and such tempting rock but as I said, the pull was strong. Besides, I could run, spot Cedar, stretch…

Being in Font with the sun and not climbing was a taste of mental torture. But the thought of spending time in Paris was less than enticing. Besides, being surrounded by trees and fresh air was why I returned to France and so I decided to embrace this rest week instead of think about the climbing that I wasn’t doing. I mean, really, there is more to life than climbing. While Cedar climbed, I spotted and used the nearby trees to stretch my shoulders. I got to know the trails close to camp, the bakery that sold the worlds most delicious flan as well as spent some time doing nothing which is in itself a great healer. Some Spaniards were befriended along with some Germans. Before I knew it the week was over. I had spent the whole sunny week successfully resting in Font and my body thanked me.

Two days of climbing were in my fortune followed by many days of intense rain drops. The fall had quickly decided to set in. I found a small gym to climb at for two days which helped my efforts to wait it out but the rain continued and I was the last one standing at camp. The time came for us to leave. What we did between then and Christmas is a slight blur. What have i done? Some time spent here, other time spent there… A few scattered weeks in Germany, a small taste of the Frankenjura, some rain, some snow, a couple of US military base thrown in between. A long snowy drive to Tichino which became a lesson in never doubt your intuition. Perhaps the most unsuccessful ‘climbing’ trip ever which I was reluctant to go on but: a promise is a promise. It basically consisted of 3 or 4 warm ups, partners bailing, a touch of malaise and finally a good dose of heavy rain. Drop. Drop. Drop. The noise of rain on my tin roof was like pouring salt into an open wound. Always trust your intuition. Always…

But, to be optimistic, had i not gone, this lesson would not have been ingrained into my very being. And i would not be where I am today which is, back in Font…

I realized in the middle of the night after stirring from a dream where i was drowning that indeed, I do have somethings i could talk about. More to come, sooner than later. I got Sandra keeping an eye…

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